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I am drawn to the kitchen window by the blue-jay’s cry. The neighbor’s marmalade cat sits on the fence, Under the orange tree. He slinks along the rail, towards the fence-post, Where a blue jay sits, still as stone. Cat pounces; his paws close on empty air. Blue Jay circles; in the orange tree Another bird calls. Cat turns, slinks back towards the tree. First Bird lands, back on his perch, Calls to Cat. Cat turns, Four paces, then Tree Bird calls. Cat turns again. Three paces. First Bird calls. Turn again. Call and response; Their mocking cries say “A grand game this, we Can keep it up all day. You?” I rap on the window. Cat disappears. I open my door next morning. A tiny ball of blue down Perched on pterodactyl legs Looks up at me from bead black eyes. A chick, flown too soon from the nest. I stoop to lift it back to the safety of the tree. With a cry, two blue winged avengers Swoop down, land, one each side the chick. Together, they hop to the wood pile Under the orange tree, Relic of a long-forgotten task. They climb the pile, hop by hop, Plank by plank, until The chick, feeling the air beneath its wings, Flies up to the lowest branch, Clings with giant feet, Then, half hopping, half flying, Disappears Into the welcoming dark of the canopy. The parent birds take up their posts, One on the fence, one in the tree, And wait. Not playing, guarding.